All Courses

CW R1A - Accelerated Reading and Composition

Spring 2018

This intensive, accelerated course satisfies concurrently the UC Entry Level Writing Requirement and the first half (Part A) of the Reading & Composition Requirement. It offers students structured, sustained, and highly articulated practice in the recursive processes entailed in reading, critical analysis, and composing. Readings include imaginative, expository, and argumentative texts comparable in complexity to those encountered in the lower-division curriculum. Texts are chosen to represent views and perspectives of authors from diverse social and cultural backgrounds. Students read five thematically related book-length texts, or the equivalent, drawn from a range of genres, in addition to non-print sources. In response to these materials, they craft numerous short pieces leading up to three to five essays—works that include elements of narration, exposition, and argument. Students write a minimum of 40 pages of prose during this semester and they compose an annotated portfolio that showcases their best work.

Available in 
Spring, Summer, Fall
Units and Format 
6 units - Six hours of lecture/discussion per week
Grading Option 
Must be taken for a letter grade for R&C credit
Reading & Composition: 1st half (Part A)
Entry Level Writing





Class Number: 23215
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 8:00am - 10:00am @ 39 Evans Hall
Section Theme: Gender Beneath the Surface
Instructor: Caroline M. Cole
Section Description:

We often divide gender into two neat categories—male and female—and ignore many questions. Is gender constant or fluid? Is it biologically determined, socially constructed, or both? If gender is at least partially constructed, who or what constructs and maintains the categories, and how fluid or fixed are those categories? What are the advantages and disadvantages of being perceived as male or female, masculine or feminine? And, what happens when people explicitly or implicitly blur the boundaries? This section of College Writing R1A focuses on the ways gender plays out in various areas, such as biology, language, current events, advertising, novels and more.

By reading texts representing various disciplines and perspectives, students will examine and critique the way gender impacts our understanding of ourselves, others, and our world. More importantly, student will learn a range of rhetorical strategies to write about these topics in ways that engage their readers.

Book List:

The primary text for this section will be course reader, available from a local copy shop. Other books include:

Gilman, Charlotte Perkins. Herland: A Lost Feminist Utopian Novel (ISBN 0-394-73665-6)

Graff, Gerald & Cathy Birkenstein. "They Say/ I Say": The Moves That Matter in Academic Writing, 3rd edition (ISBN: 978-0-393-93584-4)

Lipson, Charles. Doing Honest Work in College: How to Prepare Citations, Avoid Plagiarism and Achieve Real Academic Success, 2nd Edition (ISBN 978-0226484778)

Class Number: 23216
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 186 Barrows Hall
Section Theme: Literatures of the African Diaspora
Instructor: Aparajita Nanda
Section Description:

The course material addresses the writings of the African diaspora in a broader definition of the term. It touches on specific themes and ideas from pre-colonial Nigeria to post-colonial Caribbean moving onto the “neo-colonial” New World. The course seeks to define the above terms as concepts and attitudes as exemplified in literature and films. This course focuses primarily on developing your critical thinking, reading and writing skills. It is the first in a two-course sequence that seeks to hone your techniques of expository writing. Basic rhetorical tools such as description, analysis, explanation, narration, speculation and argument are discussed enabling you to share your experiences, information and views with others.  The emphasis all along is on provocative theses, strategies of argument and competent analysis of evidence. 

Book List:

Author: Chinua Achebe  Title: Things Fall Apart, ISBN: 0-385-47454-7

Author: Jamaica Kincaid  Title: Annie John,​ ISBN: 0-374-52510-2

Author: Toni Morrison   Title: Sula  ISBN: 1-400-3343-8

Class Number: 23217
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 72 Evans Hall
Section Theme: The "Mad" Scientist
Instructor: Kim Freeman
Section Description:

The crash of thunder. The flash of lightening. The call “It’s alive.” Crazy hair. Thick glasses. Intense eyes. Scientists in popular culture are often portrayed as “mad.” Think Victor Frankenstien. Dr. Moreau, and Doc Brown in Back to the Future. This R1A section will focus on popular images of science and scientists in literature, film, as well as in other media. In addition to interrogating these images, we’ll also consider the role of science in our wider culture. In addition to being portrayed as “mad,” scientists are sometimes portrayed as elitist or isolated in their ivory towers. We’ll also consider the ethics of research and ideas of objectivity and subjectivity. Texts likely to include Mary Shelly’s Frankenstein and Rebecca Skloot’s The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, among others.

Book List:

Mary Shelley Frankenstein

Rebecca Skloot The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks

Class Number: 23218
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 10:00am - 12:00pm @ 121 Latimer Hall
Section Theme: Money & Morality
Instructor: David Wiese
Section Description:

In this course, you will hone your reading, writing, and critical thinking skills by exploring the intersection between economics and morality. Freakonomics authors Steven D. Levitt and Stephen J. Dubner explain the terms thusly: "If morality represents how we would like the world to work, economics represents how it actually does work". You will develop techniques for effectively reading and writing a variety of texts as you answer questions such as: Is the news a public service or a commercial product? Is piracy a good thing? Do movies with sex and violence make more money at the box office? What happens to the moral message of America's most infamous liberal protest novel when a politically conservative studio adapts it to a film? How does your name affect your prospects in life? Why don't more people use environmentally friendly vehicles? and more. The course includes readings from a variety of authors of diverse backgrounds. You will write at least 40 pages of polished prose, divided among 4-6 essays. 

Book List:
Class Number: 23219
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 55 Evans Hall
Section Theme: The Capacious Identity
Instructor: Chisako Cole
Section Description:

How do we define identity? How do we form our identity and what affects it? In this class, we’ll explore how we see ourselves and how others perceive us based on space, stereotypes, expectations and language. Key concepts we’ll focus on are public places vs. private spaces, authenticity and commercialization, gentrification, and language acquisition. Students will examine a variety of texts- writing assignments will include a film analysis, persuasive essay and a multimodal essay.


Book List:

Space & Place (Tuan)
The Search for General Tso (Cheney)
In Other Words (Lahiri)
How to Kill a City (Moskowitz)
Course Reader 

Class Number: 23220
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 61 Evans Hall
Section Theme: Our Digital Present and Future: Current issues and digital dystopias
Instructor: Jordan Ruyle
Section Description:


Digital technology is ever-present, from the bCourses site we use for this class to the texts and notifications you’re likely receiving as you read this sentence. We use some form of digital technology in our education, our politics, our struggles for social justice, and our social lives. In this class, you’ll step back a bit from the experiences around you, reading about, observing, and writing about the way our use of various digital technologies shapes us.

As you weigh in on current conversations and issues surrounding our use of digital technology, you’ll practice writing in different genres and honing your writing skills. This class will help you build writing and critical thinking habits that will serve you in your future academic work here at Cal; you’ll leave the class with a new set of skills for drafting, revising, proofreading and editing your writing.

Book List:

Its Complicated (Boyd) (available at the student bookstore); Smarter Than You Think (Thompson) (available at the student bookstore); They Say/I Say (any edition); a novel TBA; Digital Course Reader (available through bCourses)

Class Number: 23221
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 214 Haviland Hall
Section Theme: Witness and Testimony
Instructor: Ben Spanbock
Section Description:

Understanding subjectivity is an essential part of the writing process. When we express ourselves, make an argument, or tell a story, we do so from a position shaped by who we are and where we are, our background and experiences, our thoughts and beliefs, and even how we are feeling in that moment. Subjectivity also plays a foundational role in how we understand and interpret others and the world around us. It shapes our opinions and makes us unique. This class asks students to consider subjectivity through two distinct but related paradigms: witnessing, an act of seeing or otherwise experiencing an event, and testimony, an act of self-expression meant to share or convey opinions on what has been witnessed. The purpose of this class is to introduce practical methods for reading “texts” (print, visual, auditory, social, etc.) and to activate both thought and writing processes to engage with the dynamic issues they raise. Together we will examine a number of short and long texts that draw from and speak to discourses from across the academic disciplines and raise questions concerning subjectivity in acts of witness and testimony. Operating under the premise that our community stands to benefit from a diversity of perspectives and opinions, we will explore different techniques for self-expression and different types of writing with a goal of better understanding our own subject positions, as well as those we encounter.


Book List:

The Well Crafted Sentence (Nora Bacon); The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time (Mark Haddon); Fresh Fruit, Broken Bodies (Seth Holmes); Darkroom: A Memoir in Black and White (Lila Quintero Weaver); Course Reader (on bCourses)

Class Number: 23222
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 12:00pm - 2:00pm @ 7 Evans Hall
Section Theme: Coming-of-Age: Reflecting on the Journey to Adulthood
Instructor: Mary Grover
Section Description:

The expression “coming-of-age” carries provocative associations, such as sexual awakening, disillusionment, and embattlement. This course explores how different cultures and writers make sense of the concept.  Through critical reading, analytical writing, and class discussion, we will examine the values and assumptions underlying constructions of this concept. Our inquiry will be framed by committed participation in all facets of the writing process, including pre-writing activities, drafting, critique, and of course, revision, revision, and revision. 

Book List:

Ready Player One, by Ernest Cline, ISBN 9780307887436

Class Number: 23223
Meeting time @ place:
MWF 2:00pm - 4:00pm @ 332 Giannini Hall
Section Theme: Exploring Ethics
Instructor: Donnett Flash
Section Description:
Book List:
Class Number: 23226
Meeting time @ place:
TUTH 9:00am - 12:00pm @ L20 Unit 2 Central
Section Theme: Fair Play in the Time of #TakeAKnee: the Complex Cultures of Sports
Instructor: Ryan Sloan
Section Description:

Sports do not build character – they reveal it. - John Wooden

Serious sport has nothing to do with fair play. It is bound up with hatred, jealousy, boastfulness, disregard of all rules and sadistic pleasure in witnessing violence. In other words, it is war minus the shooting. - George Orwell

Whether you play, watch, or try to ignore it, sports penetrates our daily lives. In this class, we’re going to read some of the very best sports journalism with a critical lens. In so doing, we’ll examine intersections between business, race, culture, disability, gender, performance, technology, politics, social justice, and above all else attention to inquiry through thoughtful writing.

In what ways can each sport be considered its own culture, with distinct rituals, language, costumes, imagery and relationship networks?  What’s interesting about the way sports bodies are transformed under the spectator’s gaze – especially when those bodies are thought to have an advantage based on sex, race, gender or disability? What constitutes “greatness” in the context of time, aging, and the marketing of self? And how do we start to understand the political, technological, and social trap that athletes find themselves in when asked to be role models and cultural symbols -- but not to speak?

Book List:

[Available at Campus Bookstore, University Press Books – and also used online]

Barthes, Roland.  What Is Sport?

Graff, Gerald and Berkenstein, Kathy. They Say / I Say: the Moves that Matter in Academic Writing.

Course Reader: bCourses [digital]